Lottery Ticket: Gambling Addiction Treatment Services

Mather Hospital debuts new gambling addiction treatment services. Football pools. Lottery tickets. Raffles. Horse racing. Casinos. For most people, these types of gambling are fun and don’t lead to any long-term gambling problems. But with the legalization of online sports betting in New York State last January, the potential for gambling addictions has increased exponentially.

According to The New York Times, just a month after legalizing sports betting was adopted, there were more than $2 billion in wagers. These wagers generated nearly $80 million in tax revenue and accounted for a quarter of the entire nation’s mobile-sports wagers on the Super Bowl. New York had easily surpassed Nevada, the nation’s gambling mecca, in total gambling revenues as well as New Jersey, which had captured the top spot in mobile sports betting after legalizing it in 2018. According to Governor Kathy Hochul’s office, in the first six months of 2022 state revenues from mobile sports wagering grew to $302 million.

But even as New York is reaping the revenue benefits, “It is also a sign of the fast-growing appetite for sports betting in New York and across the country, a development that deeply worries addiction specialists,” The Times reported.

To deal with what experts see as a growing problem, Mather Hospital’s Outpatient Chemical Dependency Program launched its Gambling Addiction Services. The new service offers individual and group counseling for those 18 and older.

“Most adults gamble as a recreational, fun activity. But for some, it can become an addiction as with alcohol or drugs,” said Alice Miller, LCSW-R, Director of Outpatient Chemical Dependency at Mather Hospital. “Our gambling addiction treatment program has been developed to help individuals gain skills to combat addiction.”

According to Ms. Miller, warning signs of a gambling addiction include lying about gambling behaviors, missing time with family and friends, gambling to escape problems, getting into debt, and unsuccessfully trying to cut back or stop gambling.

The Governor’s office said that New York’s mobile sports wagering tax revenue is reinvested not only into elementary and secondary education and grants for youth sports programming, but also problem gambling prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

For more information about Mather Hospital’s Gambling Addiction Services, contact Alice Miller at amiller34@northwell.edu. To make an appointment, please call (631) 331-8200.